Our story begins 9 months ago, when our 4th child joined us. At the time we had four children aged five and under. I was struggling with recovering from Ava’s traumatic birth, and Mr T had a spinal operation to relieve a slipped disc a few weeks later. We expected those few months to be hard, and they were. We expected things to get easier, but they didn’t.
We both desperately wanted a fourth (and last!) child, and we found caring for three young children relatively easy, we still had good and bad days, but on the whole things were good. Ava’s arrival combined, with having two children at school upset the balance, I felt constantly stretched and exhausted.
I stopped waiting for things to get easier, and started to make a difference myself.
I started to simplify things down, I looked at the things that take up my time and I asked; Does this make me happy? Does it add value to my life? I read a few articles on simple living and I instantly thought we should give it a try.
What is Simple Living?
Simple living is living an intentional life, moving away from the fast-paced culture we live in, to spend more time doing the things we value. It involves simplifying things, like commitments, workload, possessions and stress. It sometimes refers to increased self-sufficiency. It involves spending less money and being satisfied with what you have, rather than wanting more.
I want to spend time; my list
I want to spend time with friends and family
I want to be a good mother.
I want to be a good wife to Mr T.
I want to be a good friend
I want to spend time walking and enjoying nature.
I want to read.
I want to help others.
I want financial freedom so that I don’t have to worry about money.
I want to visit beautiful cities, and show our children the world.
I want a comfortable home with a bright kitchen.
I want to cook healthy meals for my family.
Part 1 – Possession’s
We started to simplify our possessions, inspired by this quote;
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
For each item, we asked ourselves, is it beautiful or practical? Does it add value to our lives?
When we began, we soon realized that we were surrounded with things we had acquired over the years, that weren’t beautiful or practical but had sentimental value.
I am a sentimental person, some things like the children’s drawings I wanted to keep, or at least photograph to preserve the memory. Other things, like the unused Apron that was a Christmas gift three years ago, we decided to sell or give to charity.
It’s not something that has happened over night, we still have a lot of possessions. Some we have given to charity, which feels good. Some we have sold and put the money towards our holiday to Cornwall in August. And some we couldn’t part with completely (The expensive knifes we bought but never use, and a rolling pin that is also a flour shaker amongst other things). Those things we have boxed up and put in our attic with a date on the box, if we don’t remember them in 6 months to a year, then we don’t really need them!
Having less stuff means that I spend less time tidying it, organising it, cleaning it and more time doing the things that we enjoy.
The hoarders reaction.
When we first bought our house and decided to have children, we had debt problems. We could barely afford food and had more money outgoing than incoming. When money is an issue I think you naturally move towards hording, and want to save certain things ‘just in case’ because you realize that you cant afford to buy them again if you need them.
On the other hand, we did also sell things we knew we definitely didn’t need to pay our debt.
Its important to find a balance between our needs. Mr T does like to ‘hoard’ some things, (like the double cupboard & attic full of computer parts and cables, just in case) and he doesn’t like change. But he loves things being neat and organised, he is happy to remove all the things we dont use and he can see all the benefits. I don’t mind his hording ways when he can produce a cable of any variety when we need it!
Positives so far.
The great thing about having less stuff, is that you have more money for the possessions you do need & truly love.
Simplifying things really and truly shows whats important in your life, and helps define you as a person.
I spend less time tidying, organizing & cleaning and more time doing the things that we enjoy.
This is Part 1, of a six part series covering Possessions / Work-Life Balance / Commitments / Self Sufficiency / Contentment / Frugality
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Because of my recent blog name change from Little Owls House to The Simple Things, I have had to recreate a new facebook page, I would love it if you popped over and said Hi!